The defensive orientation of Jiu Jitsu: My sensei Renzo Gracie gave me a piece of advice when I just a white belt that I never forgot – he said, “John, your first responsibility is to not get your ass kicked – anything on top of that is a bonus!” This is really the essential idea behind Jiu Jitsu – it is first and foremost a means of PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM HARM and only secondarily a means of damaging an opponent. Even though my own approach to Jiu Jitsu is strongly offense oriented with a constant towards submission victory, I always that this is only possible if you have a sound defense that let’s you take the risks necessary to play an offensive game. To this day if you give me a choice in learning a new technique between one which gets me out of trouble versus one that lets me attack an opponent, my natural inclination is towards the one that gets me out of trouble. Your first responsibility then, is to learn the skills associated with SURVIVAL and ESCAPE. Only when you can guarantee these can you on to attack an opponent. may not be the most glamorous part of the sport, but they are without a huge part of the foundation of it. Spend time every day refining your ability to get comfortable under pins and then escaping them. This is pure gold and when you are in a bad situation on the and all the moves are worthless, it will be all that time you invested in escape skills that saves you.